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Free Minds & Free Markets

Assassin's Creed: Games with a Libertarian View of the World (New at Reason)

A look into the philosophy of Ubisoft's long-running franchise.

Video games have become one of our most influential, popular, and creative forms of media. Last year, the industry generated almost $150 billion in revenue worldwide, rivaling books and films and dwarfing music.

Gamers spend over three billion hours a week in the virtual worlds of their choosing. And more so than other contemporary forms of media, video games explore the themes of freedom and personal agency, allowing players to go where they want and do what they please—as long as they're prepared to bear the consequences. Two of the three best selling video games of all time are Grand Theft Auto 5 and Minecraft. They're polar opposites in terms of violence and target audience, but both were designed to offer players the opportunity to make their own destinies.

But it's the Assassin's Creed series, published by Ubisoft, that puts the conflict between liberty and authority at the center of its plots, its characters, and the alternate history in which the games are set. Reason takes a look at the series' narrative merits, and at the titular creed.

Click here for full text, a transcript, and downloadable versions.

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